Alexis walked in to begin class and had the intention of using a post I’d written for MindBodyGreen.com to share some inspiration with the class. Then she realized I was there and as we both became a bit overwhelmed with sharing it directly as a lead into class, so she instead shared each lesson I’d written about individually as we progressed through the hour.
The last two weeks I’ve been living on a diet of yoga and words. I keep writing about how yoga makes me feel, but I’ve neglected how yoga helps me write. I love words. I love the imagery they can create. An arrangement of words can leave you with an acrimonious and visceral need to change the world or in a state of euphoric apathy viewing the events of life through rose colored glasses. They can be understood by anyone with an ability read, but they are more than just pronunciation and definition.
Writing is like weaving a tapestry of vibrant colors through the soul, creating a patchwork of language and emotion in an attempt to connect with a reader on a purely internal level. There’s union formed between author and reader with every literary engagement, the same as there is a union formed between body and spirit in a yoga practice.
As a creative type (or so I’m told, I’m still in a bit of denial about that), harnessing the energy of creation can be exhausting. It’s sometimes like a pendulum swinging from hyperactive growth to sloth-like stagnation. Balance can be impossible to achieve since everything is abstract in a constant state of anticipatory culmination, which if you’ve ever expected a particular outcome, you know how that little bit works out. You can’t force creativity, but you can channel it. Yoga helps me do this.
I have a tendency to vibrate at a very fast pace and sometimes it’s nearly impossible for me to be still enough to express myself verbally. The pairing of yoga and writing allows me to process slowly, savoring each lesson, each posture, each connection, both internally and externally. The physical practice of yoga shows me how I can live in non-judgment of my imperfections, thus allowing me to have observe and understand my artistic shortcomings.
There’s one thing that I think the majority of artists have in common. We are insecure in our abilities and their longevity. I am terrified that my gift is spent with every completed piece, tortured by the idea that this compulsion I have to express myself will eventually lead me towards self destruction or alienation. I am plagued by doubts that I am any good or that I have any staying power or that I will achieve any amount of success. I berate myself to be better, do more, think harder, feel deeper and then I am on my mat, where I’m reminded that every day I arrive is a success. Some days I will be able to push myself beyond my farthest edges and others that personal edge is a shoreline in the distance. Such as it is with my craft, some stories will be better than others, some will reach deep down into my soul and tie me in knots, while others are simply the written equivalent of a cool breeze on a summer day. In both cases, it is a success, because I have arrived in my creative space and produced something original and authentic. I’ve manifested an idea into something intelligible and possibly even tangible.
My creative success is in my arrival either on my mat or at the keyboard.
Camicia Bennett: Founder of The Well Written Woman, Florida Native and cerebral creature, she loves her husband, yoga, red wine, potty humor, swearing superfluously and putting hats on her dog. If given her druthers she’d be surfing the web and writing randomness from someplace sunny and tropical whilst sipping her favorite vino. Oh wait, that’s exactly what she does.You can find her tweeting incessantly, randomly sharing her own brand of slightly pretentious propaganda at her personal blog, or on her mat at Hot House Yoga